Fresh Pink Cheeks and Bright, Bold Lips: A Quick Makeup Breakdown

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD)

Messy reverse french braid

Sometimes it’s the simplest looks that turn out best. Most of the time, that old saying “less is more” drives me crazy (because less is, ya know, actually less), but there is a morsel of truth in there. πŸ™‚


This look — I threw it on the other day in, I think it was 15 minutes, just so I could take pictures for the reverse french braids post, and I was surprised to get so much nice feedback and a few requests for a breakdown, because it wasn’t complicated or involved at all.

Come to think of it, even my next door neighbor said something sweet about it when I ran into her (“Your makeup looks like you’re going someplace fancy!”).

(Note: I wasn’t.)

I gotta remember to do this cheek/lip combo again, because apparently it’s working.

Who knew?

So here we go, from start to finish…


Key products worn in this look: Sephora Sublime, Rimmer Sun Bronze, NARS Panic, MAC Impassioned, Benefit Roller Lash

Key products worn in this look from the upper left: Sephora MicroSmooth in Sublime, Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sun Bronze, NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Panci, MAC Impassioned Lipstick, Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Products worn in this look

  • Glossier Soothing Face Mist — sprayed all over my face to moisten the skin (makes blending foundation easier for me)
  • Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm — all over my face as a primer
  • Diorskin Nude Air Serum in 040 Honey Beige — all over my face with my fingers, and then buffed down with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush
  • NARS Radiant Concealers in Ginger and Biscuit mixed with a bit of Diorskin Honey Beige — patted on my cheeks and around my nose and mouth with my fingers for additional coverage, and then buffed down with the same Real Techniques Buffing Brush
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer — under my eyes as a primer
  • NARS Radiant Concealer in Ginger mixed with Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 25 Medium — under my eyes to conceal dark circles
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Tan — blended all over the face to set my foundation (I find that if I skip powder, the Diorskin foundation likes to scoot)
    Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 022 Sun Bronze — cheekbones, around the edges of my face, across my nose and under my chin, and swept into the crease of my eyes for depth
  • NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Panic — pink side buffed on the apples of my cheeks with a blush brush
  • Sephora MicroSmooth in Sublime — highlighter
  • Benefit Roller Lash — upper and lower lashes
  • Urban Decay Perversion Liner — upper water lines
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown and Clear Brow Gel — brows
  • MAC Impassioned Lipstick — mah lips

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Today turned out to be a long one, ugh. I am plum tired… There’s barely enough time to watch one episode of House of Cards before bed.

I hope you have good sleeps. See you again soon. πŸ™‚


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So far, 25 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Natalye says:

    you look great! you’re right sometimes the simple looks look best πŸ™‚
    Natalye recently posted … bareMinerals: Ready Blush in The Natural High Review and Swatches

  2. Lancy says:

    You look beautiful! Loving your simple look and the gorgeous neck piece!. Have a good sleep Karen!
    Lancy recently posted … All Good Scents Arise Eau De Toilette for Men : Preview, Photos

  3. Jane says:

    Bright lips and cheeks in similar color is my favorite look when I need to look good but casual and have no time to think how to coordinate eyes with lips and cheeks or there is no time to do something sophisticated on my eyes. I think if eyes are naturally not small and eyelashes don’t need more than a bit of mascara, this look works great. Ok, maybe a touch of burberry sheer trench eyeshadow on the lids, if eyes look tired. Now when I finally figured out this basic truth about myself, I am trying to get more blushes to better match my 150 lipsticks. In the past I used to have only 1 blush πŸ™‚ I still don’t use any bronzer/sculptor, I feel like adding it to the equation will drive me crazy and I have no cheekbones anyway, so would not even know where to put a sculptor on my face πŸ™‚

  4. What a gorgeous gorgeous look Karen! I feel so ready for spring but its still so cold here in Tokyo! I love how NARS Panic blush looks on you, I’m picking it as soon as it launches here!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Jaypore Rose Patchouli Soap : Review

  5. Sleep well!
    This is definitely a look to remember, especially If it is done in 15 minutes!
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Doesn’t do what it says on the label, but I love it! – Kiehls Overnight Biological Peel

  6. Isn’t it amazing what a bit of pink can do? You look great! And I love the ‘do πŸ™‚
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in 03 My Pink

  7. Agata says:

    Thank you for this post! The look is really pretty. Impassioned, once again- every time I see it on you, I love it. I really need to add it to my collection!
    Agata recently posted … Lorac Unzipped Gold Palette- Review and Swatches

  8. Julie says:

    The look is gorgeous – pink looks so great on you. I love that you are photographing the products along with the look!

  9. Kim says:

    This is a super pretty look and I think the fact that you can rock the bright pink lip really sells it. πŸ™‚

    So, I learned a little about my braiding skills last night. I actually naturally do the reverse french and I have to do it by feel. When I look in the mirror, it just confuses my fingers. Lessons learned: braids look much better on people with thick hair (like you), center parts are a mistake on me and it’s hotter than Hades to work out with this hair. It was like wearing a braid bandana. HAHA! That said, I love that you inspired me to try something new. Even if it was only in my living room. And none of the family even batted an eye so it probably only looked train-wreckish to me. πŸ™‚

  10. Ruchita says:

    So pretty! This is a great look for spring. I love that Rimmel bronzer! I purchased it multiple times. It’s a great drugstore find.

  11. MonicaP says:

    Very pretty look, but I’m really intrigued about the Benefit roller lash mascara – I think this maybe a must try for me πŸ™‚

    MonicaP recently posted … Rotating storage caddy for makeup brushes

  12. astou says:

    So refreshing & beautiful !!!
    Love the hair…

  13. Chris25 says:

    Good grief, lady. Why aren’t you a model?
    Chris25 recently posted … Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish Swatches

  14. Sami says:

    I love impassioned. It’s look so different on you than me. it’s very dramatic on my super fair skin

    • Majick says:

      I have impassioned too Sami and it looks brighter and redder on me. I’m a light/medium with yellow undertones, pink cheeks and mauve pigmented lips.
      this is such a great lippie.

  15. Erin says:

    I was going to ask what you were wearing on your lashes as it looked really natural!
    Erin recently posted … Sagelands 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

  16. masha russia says:

    You look so refreshed and glowing! I will try and recreate the look with the products similar to the ones listed. The Nars Dual Intensity blush is to die for!
    masha russia recently posted … Best foam roller exercises and stretches

  17. Lily says:

    Lovely! If you’re taking “post requests” I would love to see your Orange blush collection… i’m looking for some of the older ones on sites like and eBay… trying to build up my collection but I know i’m missing so many!

  18. Majick says:

    OMG now I’m lemming that BLUSH! I really NEED to have a NARS dual intensity blush to go with my eye palette. Now I just have to decide on a color. mmmmm…..

  19. Tatiana says:

    Simple, fresh and elegant. I love this look! It just seems very spring-like and I’m really in the mood for spring. As always, beautiful!

  20. Neha Kaul says:

    GAAAW-JUS is the word, Karen! The radiance and the freshness you exude…*le sigh…

  21. Fatema says:

    This look actually looks really really good on you, and very into the spring theme too! πŸ™‚ it’s great that you always review high end makeup, but it’d also be gr9 if you could review some drugstore goodies once in a while!

  22. Suzanne C says:

    Why, hellooooo, Panic and Impassioned!!! I wish you would quit finding expensive makeup that I absolutely cannot live without, Karen- you’re going to drive me to bankruptcy. I’m kidding, of course! I love seeing these looks on you. It helps me make better choices when I can see the products being used in real life. πŸ™‚

  23. Fancie says:

    Your skin looks so flawless! I really love the blush and how Impassioned looks on you too. It fits you so well
    Fancie recently posted … MAC Coupe D’Chic Iridescent Powder Swatches & First Impressions

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